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Exactly 80 years after its last voyage, a quest begins to solve the Mystery of the WWII Polish Submarine Orzel (Eagle)

International team of explorers and scientists to search for allied sub lost mysteriously 80 years ago.

FARMINGTON HILLS, MICHIGAN, USA, May 22, 2020 / -- 80 years ago, the submarine Orzel sailed on its last voyage, and its fate and the location of its wreck remain a mystery to this day.

On the occasion of this historic anniversary, the Shipwreck Expeditions Association is
pleased to announce it cooperation with the Maritime University of Szczecin (Poland) in a joint effort
to locate the final resting place of the Orzel. This program is sponsored by the Chancellery of the
Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation.
The official partnership began when the Shipwreck Expeditions Association and the Maritime
University of Szczecin signed a letter of intent and began preparations for the search for pride of the
Polish fleet.

The submarine ORP Orzeł was one of the most modern Polish vessels in World War II.
Its construction in the Netherlands was largely financed from voluntary contributions of Polish society,
which was unheard of in its day.

In September 1939, the ship gained fame with a daring escape from internment in
Estonia without the aid of navigational charts. The Orzel escaped through the Baltic and Danish
Straits to Great Britain, navigating only on the basis of the memory of Lieutenant Marian Mokrski.
Orzel, under the command of Capt. Jan Grudziński, was also famous for the sinking of the German
freighter Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of April 1940. The ship sailed on its last combat patrol on May
23, 1940. It was never heard from again and its loss is one of WWIIs greatest mysteries.
This national program provides a unique opportunity to find the resting place of the
Eagle, and thus to commemorate its sailors with dignity and provide their families with closure.
Partnership with the Maritime University of Szczecin, as well as the assistance from the Chancellery of
the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland
Navigation, bring the location of the Orzel and its fate within reach.

“In addition, our experience in searching for lost shipwrecks means that we have a
great chance to succeed”, says Mariusz Borowiak, president of the Shipwreck Expeditions
Association. Among its accomplishments the association successfully located the wreck of the
destroyer escort ORP Kujawiak off the coast of Malta. For many years they have conducted research
in Polish, American, and British archives, among others. Members of the Shipwreck Expeditions
Association represent Poland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. They include maritime archaeologists, technical divers, members of the Explorers Club, and historians.

It is worth emphasizing, however, that the search for the wreck of the Orzel will be
extremely difficult due to the large area to be searched and the unpredictability of the North Sea. The
knowledge of seafarers from the Maritime University of Szczecin will be of invaluable help.
The coordinator of activities on the part of the Maritime Academy in Szczecin is Dr.
Arkadiusz Tomczak, professor AMS and Vice-Rector for Maritime Affairs.

“For years we tried to find a partner in the search for the Orzel. We contacted many
companies and institutions, but only the Maritime University of Szczecin believed in our idea, which
makes us extremely happy. Together we have an outstanding opportunity to find the Orzel”,
emphasizes Peter Wytykowski, vice president of the Shipwreck Expeditions Association.

The search for the wreck of the Orzel is currently entering the logistics and preparations
phase for the first expedition. The team wants to set out to sea as soon as possible and hopes to
share good news soon.

Chris Kraska
Shipwreck Expeditions Association
+1 216-789-2670
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